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Unit information: Human Disease in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Human Disease
Unit code ORDS20013
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mrs. McNulty
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit is only taught on the Diploma in Dental Hygiene.

Year 1


  1. Microbiology
  2. General Pathology
  3. Medical History
  4. Medical Conditions & Dental Management Implications
  5. Medical Emergencies

This Unit will include the spread of infection and infectious diseases in relation to the Dental Surgery and the methods of Cross Infection Control available in line with current universal protocols and policies such as HTM01-05.

The principles of acute and chronic inflammation and wound healing will form the underpinning knowledge required prior to its application to oral tissues at a later date in the programme.

Taking a patients’ medical history will be taught and practiced, including how to look up any prescriptive drugs that patients may be taking.

Students will have thorough knowledge of common medical conditions, particularly those of oral significance including their management implications.

Basic life support is taught prior to the starting clinical work to assist in the event of a medical emergency.


  • To assure students can work safely, protecting themselves, the patient and other members of the working team from the risk of cross infection.
  • To provide the students with underpinning knowledge of the principles of inflammation.
  • To ensure students are alerted to any medical conditions a patient may have in order that they work safely and within the legal framework set out by the General Dental Council.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Explain the potential routes of transmission of infectious agents in dental practice, mechanisms for the prevention of infection, the scientific principles of decontamination and disinfection and their relevance to health and safety
  • Describe oral diseases and their relevance to prevention, diagnosis and treatment
  • Explain general and systemic disease and explain their relevance to oral health
  • Explain the aetiology and pathogenesis of oral disease
  • Describe the properties of relevant drugs and therapeutic agents and discuss their application to patient management
  • Recognise the importance of and record a comprehensive and contemporaneous patient history
  • Implement and perform effective decontamination and infection control procedures according to current guidelines
  • Take responsibility for ensuring compliance with current best practice guidelines
  • Recognise and manage medical emergencies
  • Explain the importance of and maintain accurate, contemporaneous and comprehensive patient records in accordance with legal and statutory requirements and best practice
  • Protect the confidentiality of all personal information
  • Describe the properties of relevant drugs and therapeutic agents and discuss their application to patient management.
  • Carry out care as prescribed by the dentist and plan the delivery in the most appropriate way for the patient.

Teaching details


Small group teaching

Clinical practice

Clinical sessions

Assessment Details


Generic: Continuous clinical assessment using a predetermined standard assessment scheme, graded with immediate feedback to the student by clinical staff.

Reflective Practice – Each student to complete ongoing personal journal/log book/e-portfolio and opportunity to self-reflect and progress discussed with Tutors during and at the end of the Unit.

Students overall performance in the programme will be reviewed and discussed at the School Progress committee.

Failure to comply with completion of formative assessments by the stated end of term deadlines will be raised at the Progress Committee. Any performance not completed or deemed unsatisfactory will be reviewed along with the students overall performance and may affect the students progression. Students overall performance in the programme will be reviewed and discussed at the School Progress committee.

Subject level information:


Spread of infection and microbiological cross infection control. Continuous clinical assessment.

General Pathology

Course work presented to group on defined aspects to reach learning outcomes

Medical History

Continuous clinical assessment

Medical Conditions & Dental Management Implications

Continuous clinical assessment

Medical Emergencies

Feedback and Group work at Medical Simulation Centre


This unit has no internal summative assessment. However formative assessments may form a barrier to progression and will be discussed by Progress committee.

The unit contributes stations to a Pre-Clinical ‘Gateway to seeing Patients’ must-pass 8 station Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in various clinical procedures in the following manner:


1 OSCE station on spread of infection and microbiological cross infection control

Medical Emergencies

1 OSCE station - medical emergency scenario

Human Disease topics can be assessed within Finals examinations for the Diploma in Dental Hygiene.

Reading and References

  • Anatomy and Phisiology in Health and Illness, 8th Edition, Ross and Wilson, ISBN:0-443-05156-0
  • Medical Problems in Dentistry 6th Edition; Scully, Churchill Livingstone ISBN:978-0-7020-3507-4
  • Drug Dictionary for Dentistry; Meechan & Seymour; Oxford ISBN:0-19-263274-4
  • British National Formulary